Agriculture has a poor share in state’s economy

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat ranks down there at the bottom with less than 15% share of agriculture and allied sector in (Gross State Domestic Product) GSDP. The state is ranked at the bottom with states Goa, Kerala, Maharashtra, Sikkim, Uttarakhand and Tamil Nadu.

According to the State of Indian Agriculture 2015-16 report, “the share and growth of the agriculture and allied sector at the state level presents a very different picture from that at the national level. While at the national level, the agriculture and allied sectors contributed about 14% to the (Gross Domestic Product) GDP in 2013-14 (at constant 2004-05 prices), a number of states showed a much larger share of agriculture in GSDP.”

The report further revealed that at the national level, the GDP from agriculture and allied sectors grew at the rate of 4.7% in 2013-14, but the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh registered double-digit growth.

R L Siyani, an expert in agriculture economics says, “Gujarat has more in industry and services sector as compared to other states and hence the GDP of industry would obviously be higher than that of agriculture. If one compares the GSDP of the industries in Jamnagar alone, it would be equivalent to the GSDP of agriculture in the state, as a whole.

The officials in state agriculture department pointed out that the report also indicated that there has been a major increase in the productivity of pulses in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Jharkhand. The productivity of pulses increased from 612kg per hectare in 2006-07 to 744 kg per hectare in 2014-15. However, despite the increase in productivity and area of sowing, prices of pulses kept increasing as the demand for pulses had also increased in the country, said a senior officer.

 The report also quoted the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) studies stating that when it comes to getting crop insurance only 11% of agricultural area in Gujarat is insured. Crop insurance was around 23% across the country. Insured areas in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, respectively, were more than four times the insured area in Gujarat.

According to the report, of the 12.60 million hectare area where sowing takes place in Gujarat, only 1.39 million hectare was insured. This was 11.03% of the total area. The insured area in Rajasthan was highest with 49.70%, followed by Bihar (48.02%) and Madhya Pradesh (45.97%).

An agriculture department officer said that earlier not many farmers opted for insurance schemes as the premium was very high and the farmer would instead risk the loss rather than paying the premium. With the new insurance scheme, however, the scenario is expected to change, said the officer.

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